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Media Politics in China: Improvising Power Under Authoritarianism

Friday, November 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Klein Conference Room, Room A510, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall Room 510, 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011

Who watches over the party-state? In her new book, Maria Repnikova reveals the webs of an uneasy partnership between critical journalists and the state in China. More than merely a passive mouthpiece or a dissident voice, the media in China also plays a critical oversight role, one more frequently associated with liberal democracies than with authoritarian systems. Chinese central officials cautiously endorse media supervision as a feedback mechanism, as journalists carve out space for critical reporting by positioning themselves as aiding the agenda of the central state. Drawing on rare access in the field, Media Politics in China examines the process of guarded improvisation that has defined this volatile partnership over the past decade on a routine basis and in the aftermath of major crisis events. Combined with a comparative analysis of media politics in the Soviet Union and contemporary Russia, the book highlights the distinctiveness of Chinese journalist-state relations, as well as the renewed pressures facing them in the Xi era.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Dr. Repnikova is a scholar of global communication, with a comparative focus on China and Russia. Her research examines the processes of political resistance and persuasion in illiberal political contexts, drawing on ethnographic research approaches and extensive time in the field. Maria holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

An India China Institute, CESIC Series Public Talk.

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